A View to Kill

Author: mirai  //  Category: Life in general, Techie Stuff

Yesterday was my last day at work for the rest of the year.  It was a relatively peaceful day.  Japanese people traditionally like to start off their new years fresh and with a nice clean slate, so we spent most of the day spring cleaning.  We got rid of whole bunch of stuff that we didn’t need anymore.

It rained pretty heavily the other day.  It was the heaviest rains in 36 years and so it flooded a lot areas.  But the one thing that is aways good after a good hard rain is the clear blue skies that follow.  A good rain washes away the smog and other crap in the air so we can see for miles.  My office is on the 20th floor of a building in Shinjuku, so on a good clear day we can have nice panaramic view of the city and Mt. Fuji.

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I had my digital camara with me so I snapped some pictures from the office

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Here’s another without the zoom.

On another note,  I have still been trying to fiddle around with the Mac OSX install on my Thinkpad.  I gotit running but its far from being stable.  Applications crash frequently and the OS freezes a lot.  But since OSX wasn’t really designed to run on anything but Apple hardware, I didn’t really expect too much.

Anyways here are some pics of my Mac install on my Thinkpad:

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Setting up OSX

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Its booting! Its booting!

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ooooh….pretty!

My overall impression is that the Mac OSX is a very pretty OS.  It takes forever to install but,  there is a lot of eye candy like the dock and the “genie effect”, which I thought were cool.  Accessing the hard disk and the network is very seamless and easy.  As long as everthing is shared properly on ther server, its just a matter of pointing and clicking. Installing applications is also really easy too…basically drag and drop and its in.  But at the end of the day, I tend to prefer Windows.  Yeah, its not as visually spectacular, or as intuitive, but at least I know where everything is. And I don’t have to go on an easter egg hunt looking for tools and applications on the web, because they are more readily available for Windows.   I guess it all a matter of tastes though.

35th B-day

Author: mirai  //  Category: Life in general

Yesterday was my 35th birthday.  I wasn’t too sure how I would react to being another year older, but it wasn’t as bad as I thought it’d be.  I took a good look in the mirror and aside from a few wrinkles around the eyes (from exposure NOT age) I realized that I really don’t look my age.  I see people whom I went to high school with, and some of them really aged poorly.  I think I am a lot more healthier and happier than I was 10 years ago, and I still get mistaken for being in my mid-20’s.  I even got carded when I was in San Francisco on a business trip last summer.

When I went from 29 to 30, admittedly it was very hard for me.  I felt as if half my life had gone by and I hadn’t made any significant accomplishments.  But in hindsight, having such thoughts was pretty ridiculous.  I think I have done pretty well for myself.  I’ve got a good education, a good career,  and I have accomplished a lot of my lifetime goals which I thought were pretty unobtainable when I was in my early 20’s.  Sure, there are still goals that I have yet to obtain, but I have learned that with a bit more patience and a cool head, nothing is impossible.

I am a minoirty no matter what country I live in.  And to have so many things going against me from the get go,  I would have never imagined that I would be where I am today.  So in that respect, I am pretty proud of myself.  Now its time to set higher goals and figure out ways to accomplish them.  I am pretty confident now that I can do it.

Experimenting with Technology

Author: mirai  //  Category: All Posts, Techie Stuff

I recently took delivery on a slightly used IBM Thinkpad T30 laptop.  This is my third Thinkpad.  I love these things.  My first Thinkpad, a T22, took some serious abuse before it died.  I took it almost everywhere (pleasure trips, business trips, back and forth to and from my grandmother’s house).  It must have been airport x-rayed no less than 50 times, dropped lightly no less than 10 times, dropped heavily while running like 5 times, left in a blazing hot car for hours, survived very cold days in the living room, and the thing kept on ticking. 
Eventually the hard disk and the motherboard gave out, but I replaced them a couple of months ago and its back in action.  My second T22, which I bought a couple of years ago before I went to Australia, also took some serious abuse, but not as much as the first one.  The hard disk died twice, which I replaced.  Its also running strong.
I bought my third and most recent Thinkpad about 2 weeks ago.  No abuse yet.  Its in excellent condition and barely showed any signs of wear. I bought it so that I could retire my Compaq desktop.  It was taking up too much valuable real estate, not to mention eating up a lot of electricity. 
 I needed something as powerful as my desktop, but didn’t cost and arm and a leg, and the T30 was a nice compromise between price and performance.  Admittedly its noticeably heavier than my T22’s, so I’m not too sure if its going to get any travel time.  I may continue to use my T22’s for trips. 
Also, I wasn’t too impressed with the 20GB 4200rpm hard disk it came with.  I swapped it out for a 60GB 7200rpm hard disk, which made it noticeably faster, and gave me more space to play with.  I also didn’t like the 11Mb internal wireless card it came with, so I am looking to replace it with a 108Mb Super-G wirelss card, since my wireless router is geared for 108Mb speed. 
The Fun Part -God I’m a nerd!!
While rumaging around the internet looking for information on what I could do with my semi-new T30, I came across a Thinkpad forum full of fellow IT geeks such as myself.  They were having a discussion on the latest incarnation of Mac’s OSX, Tiger.  At first I was confused as to why Thinkpad owners were talking about Mac OSX, since they are incompatible.  But as I read on, I found that someone had managed to shoe horn a hacked version of OSX into an IBM Thinkpad and got it working with minimal issues.  Being somewhat bored with Windows XP (since I use it all the time), I immediately pointed my attention to this guy and his Mac/Intel hybrid. 
Later I found that the internet is full of information on how to get OSX working on PC hardware.  Basically, if you have fairly recent PC (preferrably with a Pentium 4) you can get a slightly modified version of OSX running on it.  Right now, I am in the process of getting OSX working on my T30.  I doubt I will ever use OSX as my main PC OS, but it is different and worth exploring.   I was also considering Microsoft’s new Windows OS, Vista.  But having worked with Windows for the last 11 years now, I have learned never to install a newly released Microsoft product unless you like pain.